Sidney Luft (Luff) (1915 - 2005)

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Nicknames: "One-Punch Luft"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Death: Died in Santa Monica, California, United States
Cause of death: Myocardial infarction
Managed by: Dorothy Willard
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • ex-wife
    • Lorna
      daughter
    • Joseph
      son
    • Liza
      ex-wife's daughter
    • Christiana Nina
      ex-wife's daughter
    • Living
      ex-wife's daughter
    • ex-wife's daughter

About Sidney Luft (Luff)

American show business figure best known as the third husband of iconic American singer/actress Judy Garland.

He was born Michael Sidney Luft in New York City, New York to Jewish immigrants from Russia and Germany. His family moved to more upscale Westchester County, and that is where he grew up.

Luft was once an amateur boxer and bar-room brawler and had the nickname "One-Punch Luft." He was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and in the early 40s was a test pilot for Douglas.

-------------------- Sidney Luft (November 2, 1915 – September 15, 2005) was the third husband of iconic American singer/actress Judy Garland.

He is credited with keeping the brilliant, but tormented and difficult Garland working and with setting up a deal with Warner Brothers to bankroll his wife's comeback film, a 1954 musical remake of A Star Is Born plus future projects.

Sid Luft's name is on the film's credits as producer. Although it won an Oscar nomination for Garland, box office receipts proved disappointing. The studio canceled the Luft-Garland contract, which would have starred Judy in two additional Warner films, and given Luft a berth at Warners as a producer.

He was born Michael Sidney Luft in New York City, New York to Jewish immigrants from Russia and Germany. His first theatrical job was as secretary to MGM dancer Eleanor Powell, which gained him a foot in Hollywood's door.

As Luft's movie career foundered, he managed and married Lynn Bari, a good actress who never managed to achieve Hollywood A-list status.

When Bari's career waned, Luft met Garland and became her manager, soon divorcing Bari in favor of the more promising Garland. He is generally referred to as a producer but records show he only produced two B movies, both for the low-tier Monogram, prior to his marriage to Judy Garland, one movie starring Garland, and none thereafter.

He was married four times:

   * On November 28, 1943 he married Lynn Bari. They had one child, a son, named John. They divorced on December 26, 1950.
   * On June 8, 1952 he married Judy Garland. They had two children, Joey Luft (a scenic photographer, born March 29, 1955 in Los Angeles, California) and Lorna Luft. They divorced in 1964, but it was not finalised until 1966.
   * In 1970 he married Patti Hemingway, from whom he was later divorced.
   * On March 20, 1993 he married Camille Keaton, grandniece of Buster Keaton.

Many, including Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli, attribute the overworking of Garland leading to her early death to Luft.

Luft was once an amateur boxer and bar-room brawler and had the nickname "One-Punch Luft." He was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and in the early 40s was a test pilot for Douglas.

Sidney Luft died September 15, 2005 in Santa Monica, California of a heart attack, aged 89.

Michael Sidney Luft

- September 15, 2005 -

Sid Luft, third husband of Judy Garland passed away the evening of September 15th, 2005. Mr. Luft had been in declining health for some time.

He is spoke of by those who knew him as a charismatic, charming, intelligent man. Always full of life, optimistic and he had a great sense of humor. Mr. Luft was being cared for by his son, Joe.

A friend told me that Mr. Luft spoke often of Judy and was said to always speak of her with love, affection, respect and compassion.

My personal thoughts about him are mostly, that the effect Sid Luft had on Judy Garland both personally and in her career can never be underestimated. I think he was the right man for Judy at the right time in her life. It would be impossible to speculate on how different Judy's career may have been without him at her side.

Mr. Luft is survived by three children; son John, by actress Lynn Bari, also, Lorna and Joe Luft with Judy Garland; two grandchildren, Vanessa & Jesse and fourth wife, Camille.

Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time.

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Sidney Luft's Timeline

1915
November 2, 1915
New York City, New York, United States
1952
June 8, 1952
Age 36
X-Unknown
2005
September 15, 2005
Age 89
Santa Monica, California, United States
????
????
United States